Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Juan R. Guzman, 2000 Topps Traded #T74

Yep, that's Juan Ramon Guzman, a 6'2", 180-pound righthanded pitcher who was born in 1977 in the Dominican Republic. He is not to be confused with Juan Andres Guzman, the 5'11", 190-pound righty who was born in 1966 in the Dominican and pitched for the Orioles in 1998-1999 after a successful stint in Toronto. This Juan Guzman was originally signed as a catcher and converted to the mound at Rookie-level Bluefield in 1998. He garnered some attention the following year at Delmarva, where he struck out 134 batters and walked only 44 in 124.1 innings. But he hit a speed bump at Bowie in 2000 (4.64 ERA, only 57 strikeouts in 97 innings) and missed all of 2001 with an injury. Two years later he was out of the Baltimore organization, and by 2005 he was out of pro ball altogether without ever having reached AAA, much less the majors.

There are five other Juan Guzmans who have played minor league baseball without getting even a cup of coffee in the big leagues. One of them, Juan Alejandro Guzman, is yet another righty pitcher from the Dominican. He is 20 years old and has played in the low levels of the O's organization for the past two seasons. Last year he put up a 1.09 ERA in 33 innings in the Gulf Coast League, with 33 strikeouts and only 7 walks. He's a long way from the majors, but he's the next challenger to ex-Blue Jay/Oriole/Red/Devil Ray Juan "The Highlander" Guzman.

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